Winter cycling is insane and suicidal.

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by Bike man1, Oct 28, 2014.

  1. dabac

    dabac Well-Known Member

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    Well you certainly tick several of the boxes.

    Posting unsupported personal opinions as if they are verified facts, making extraordinary claims w/o presenting extraordinary evidence.
    Making claims that go against the general experience of the rest of the forum.
    Throwing in pseudo-political red herrings by vague references to North Korea and the First Amendment.

    So:
    - stocking, selling, buying or using studded bicycle tires is not illegal. Even when/where studded car tires are banned, bicycles are exempt. Too slow/weak to create any significant wear.
    - exercise/physical labour in cold temperatures is no big deal for those otherwise healthy. A modest amount of insight and preparation is all it takes to be perfectly safe.
    - bicycling is not by definition any more strenuous than cross-country skiing, speed/tour skating, snowshoeing or simple hard labour(shovelling, logging etc)
    - winter cyclists does not drop along the road in any significant number. I'm willing to bet that heatstroke downs more rider each year than hypothermia.
    - herding in/discouraging winter cyclists is not a significant Police task.
     


  2. maydog

    maydog Well-Known Member

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    Last Friday morning, Halloween, it was 24 degrees. After sending off my daughter to school on her bicycle (10 yr old and a 1 mile trip), I proceeded on my 20 mile commute. Along the way, I encountered no less than 5 other children on bicycles going to various schools. It was suprising since I do not usually see so many and that being the coldest morning thus far. Judging by the lack of coverage on the local news, there were no casualties.
     
  3. Bike man1

    Bike man1 New Member

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    Don't you people know? Even layers of clothing provide only temporary protection from the deep freeze while doing strenuous activities such as bicycling. Depending on how many layers you put on, you may get maybe 15 to 20 minutes, 30 minutes at most, of protection before your sweat causes your clothes to officially lose their insulating capabilities, as well as start to actually conduct your heat out and the freeze in.
     
  4. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Quote by Maydog:
    "Judging by the lack of coverage on the local news, there were no casualties."

    We have better news reporting here in only semi-frozen Ohio. Our most famous news anchor, Baghdad Bob was hired by channel 5 after his last job bombed...er...was bombed. He told us more than 350 Minnesotans perished while cycling during your last heat wave when it hit 36°. Additionally, we were informed that almost all the bodies were found in Castelli high tech clothing that was frozen stiff as a board.
    [​IMG]

    Thank God Ohio hit 55° yesterday! We narrowly averted a catastrophe worse than Ebola! I risked death-by-sweat wearing a long sleeve base layer under a short sleeve jersey...and NOTHING under the helmet!

    If they find me this winter along the side of the road frozen like a popsicle, I hereby leave my stash of Campy to you guys. Well, to all but Swampy. He would never learn how to shift the good stuff that doesn't have dwell time.
     
  5. MotownBikeBoy

    MotownBikeBoy Active Member

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    Riding in the winter can be totally awesome. It 's like any other sport, you need the right equipment and knowledge. Fat bike or mountain bike, with studded tires as an option, proper clothing, protective eyewear, a nice thermos of hot chocolate or whatever. And you're good to go. As far as clothing goes, if you plan on doing a lot of riding I very cold weather, invest in heated clothing. I've got Columbia heated boots, gloves, coat and vest, and I bought a set of heated base layer top and bottom last year, but they were back ordered and didn't ship until late March so haven't tried them yet. [IMG ALT=""]http://www.cyclingforums.com/content/type/61/id/295452/width/350/height/700[/IMG]
     
  6. MotownBikeBoy

    MotownBikeBoy Active Member

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    [IMG ALT=""]http://www.cyclingforums.com/content/type/61/id/295450/width/350/height/700[/IMG] Parked on my street, this was New Years Eve last year, air temp was about 12 degrees with 20 MPH winds and I was fine. [IMG ALT=""]http://www.cyclingforums.com/content/type/61/id/295446/width/350/height/700[/IMG] Stop at a local fast food place to warm up - I admit this was a cold ride, late January and air temp was about -2 with windchill about -10. Hot chocolate helps a lot. [IMG ALT=""]http://www.cyclingforums.com/content/type/61/id/296734/width/350/height/700[/IMG] Scenes like this make it very worthwhile - this was early March 2014.
     
  7. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

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    Why waste a snowy day cycling when I can ski? I can ride a bike the other 9 months. As far as frozen cyclist go, I never realized I had encountered so many. I always thought they were big sweat ridden, dead Groundhogs with a flare for Lycra and color combinations.
     
  8. dabac

    dabac Well-Known Member

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    Don't you know that people have been doing strenuous stuff outside during winters for AGES, without dying from hypothermia every other minute?

    The Inuit, the Saami, a bunch of different Mongol tribes, do you think these guys merely moseyed along all winter, w/o ever exerting themselves?

    What about the polar explorers who man-hauled heavy sleds all over the polar ice caps? Freaks of nature? faked reporting? Or don't you think they ever worked hard?

    Stupidity will always carry its own punishment. Dress like a fool and fail to adapt to conditions and your body's signals,and you will suffer. In cold as well as in heat. Nothing new in that.

    Dress right, and you can stay at a comfortable body temperature pretty much indefinitely regardless of outside temperature and level of exertion.

    Here's a link to Vasaloppet:http://www.vasaloppet.se/wps/wcm/connect/en/vasaloppet/start/participant/winter/vasaloppet/, a 56-mile cross-country ski race - and XC-skiing is well comparable to bicycling in terms of effort.
    Most participants are regular guys, not pro athletes. They'll spend most of the day out, working hard. And while plenty of people drop from the race from sheer fatigue, blisters and chafing etc hypothermia is a really minor culling factor.
    Upset stomachs cause more DNFs than cold.
    The serious medical cases are generally heart related. And some may take a tumble on the descents.

    And here is one to Vikingarännet:http://vikingarannet.com/en/, an about equally long tour skating event. Not quite as many participants, a higher speed average, but still hours on the ice, pushing hard.
    Last time, I went through about 4000 cals during 4+ hours at an average heart rate of 156. Very close to what I manage during Cykelvasan:http://www.vasaloppet.se/wps/wcm/connect/en/vasaloppet/start/participant/summer/cykelvasan90
    Both of them, at my age, a pretty decent work out.

    You adapt your clothing to the temperature, wind, and level of activity, that's all. No big deal.
    At worst, you carry some spare clothes, to change the inner layer(s) if you get too soaked, have to take a break, or have to reduce your level of activity.

    Rule-of-thumb for strenuous activites during winter is to start out cold and work yourself warm.
    That way, minimum sweat. No soaked clothes, no hypothermia.
    If you have to stop, you put on more clothes. When you get going, you take some off. Easy. End of story.

    And where do you get your numbers? Is it some "winter survival guide" you've read (and completely misunderstood)? or are you making them up as you go along?
    "officially lose their insulating capabilities" what a funny phrase.

    I still think you're trolling. Or possibly a resident somewhere warm without any firsthand experience of how to behave in the cold. Or maybe brought up by overprotective parents and never questioned their sayings.

    Now, admittedly, sometimes getting the balance right is tricky, particularly if you're a profuse sweater. But there are ways and means. I use surgical gloves as liners, to keep from soaking the insulating layers in my mittens. Something called "vapour barrier socks" do the same for my shoes/boots. Pants and upper body clothing with windproof fronts and highly ventilating rear panels, even mesh, works really well for me.

    Down to -4 F is no big deal. I'll happily do my 2x16 mile commute at that temperature. If there is any fresh snow, it might take me 90 minutes.
    Below that, skill, discipline and knowledge begins to be important.
    -22F and below, you really need to take care. Riding then is more of a stunt than a utility activity.
    But yard work, splitting and stacking firewood is fine.
    -40F is hard on the lungs, and I don't really like the dorky looking heat exchangers that are available. It's such a rare event for me to encounter, so it's not much of an issue.
     
  9. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Quote by JH:
    "Why waste a snowy day cycling when I can ski?"

    Knees! The knees, man! Zimmer loves guys like you!

    I do agree though. Why force the sport when there's fantastic hiking, trekking and skiing to be done? And winter camping beats the snot out of summer camping IMO. We have a couple of nice XC trails in area state parks and groomed trails are about 2 hours away. And there's always just starting at my front door and hitting the now barren soybean fields across the road. Pro tip: XC skiing in corn stubble is NOT recommended.

    There's always good hunting to be done, too. A walk in the woods with a good gun, friends and some well trained dogs can be a workout. BTW, did you guys know Garmin makes electronic toys to track the mutts? That stuff makes the bike toys seem inexpensive! My neighbor has $2K invested in Garmin dog tracking gear.

    "As far as frozen cyclist go, I never realized I had encountered so many. I always thought they were big sweat ridden, dead Groundhogs with a flare for Lycra and color combinations."

    I raughed! Hard!



    Good pics, MBB!

    I enjoy the quiet of cycling on a cold day. The silence is awesome. Matter of fact...I think that's the only thing I like about riding on an extremely cold day.
     
  10. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    FTA:

    Last Sunday one of my training partners and I were discussing the impending winter and having to ride our trainers. His comment went something like, "I'ld rather get hit by a car than ride a trainer!". An exaggeration? sure...but, not by much!
     
  11. mpre53

    mpre53 Well-Known Member

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    I've done both. It's a horse race.
     
  12. MotownBikeBoy

    MotownBikeBoy Active Member

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    Actually, I still maintain it is an awesome sport and a great way to keep riding during a cold northern winter. Popularity must be on the upswing, I have seen two guys riding through my neighborhood on fat bikes. One guy was riding, of all things, a Mongoose - if it is filtering down to mass market bikes it must be gaining steam.
     
  13. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, Walmart is selling fat bikes starting around $150 for single-speed cruisers. Kohl's is also selling them. The LBS I was in last weekend had a fat UNI-cycle hanging on the wall. Who the Hell rides a uni-cycle through snow drifts?

    IIRC, Nashbar had a reasonable Surly-look clone on sale recently for around $700. Currently listed at $1100: http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product_10053_10052_559081_-1___204686
     
  14. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

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    There also something about being first chair on one of those rare days when the snow is falling gently in with
    A Ringling Brother's clown while juggling snowballs.
     
  15. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Quote by JH:
    "There also something about being first chair on one of those rare days when the snow is falling gently in with"

    Wut?



    Any snow down your way? I got a short road ride in on Wednesday, but yesterday was a day to hit the trainer with the roads wet from maybe 1/2" total of the white stuff. The local resorts should open...eh...'soon'.

    BOSTON MILLS BRANDYWINE Today's Hours* CLOSED CLOSED Snow Base 0" 0" New Snow (past 24hrs) 0" Natural
    0" Natural Surface Conditions** Groomed Groomed Lifts Open*** 0 0 Trails Open**** 0 0
     
  16. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

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    We have some snow but due to a situation I don't wish to discuss we are not open. We could have opened today but we are not. It looks like a warm up for a while. If long range holds true it will turn cold mid December and trend cold for a good while. As far as riding on the road, it gets dark before I get home on week days so I am confined to weekends if weather permits otherwise I ride my trainer.
    Oh, we do have snow tubing open with large crowds.
     
  17. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Quote by JH:
    "...but due to a situation I don't wish to discuss we are not open.

    Same here. Damned nudists refuse to vacate the slopes until it hits 20°

    Our slopes are worried about warming trends and have not turned on the snow machines yet. 56° forecast for Sunday and a week of near-40° ahead. The Cuyahoga Valley Towpath Trail (crushed limestone) and the Summit county Bike & Hike Trail (paved) are still being heavily used by walkers and cyclists.

    Both trails run near the slopes and both resorts are a ghost town right now.



    "As far as riding on the road, it gets dark before I get home on week days so I am confined to weekends if weather permits..."

    Faking your own death is a reasonable excuse to not be at work!

    "...otherwise I ride my trainer."

    I'm either getting old...or...I can see why Maydog does those spin classes. Hell, If the poon in yoga pants looked good enough I might be coerced into driving over to the big city to enroll in a Spandex On Parade class. Should I bring my own Campy Pro Fit pedals and Selle Italia Flite saddle?
     
  18. urge2kill

    urge2kill Member

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    to opening post:
    That's why I do it! ;)

    I've cycled in below 10 F without hypothermia. If you're bicycling throughout the weather transition, you'll be fine. You're actually colder on the bike than off. If it hurts bad enough, you wiggle your toes, or you get off to walk for 10 minutes. Then you wear more layers next time rather than get off the bike again. It's hard to sweat through every layer if one layer is waterproof.
     
  19. BigSkyFatGuy

    BigSkyFatGuy New Member

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    In Montana snow, ice and subzero temps are 5 months of the year. We buy studded tires, fat bikes, proper clothing, and keep on pedaling. 30 to 40 below zero here happens. We cycle, ski, snowshoe, snowmobile, and work in it for hours at a time. I have a buddy that cross country skiis that has a tent with a backpackable woodstove in it that says winter is the best time to camp. Some people are better off in Florida where it never gets cold.
     
  20. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Quote by BigSkyFatGuy:
    "Some people are better off in Florida where it never gets cold."

    <Campy meekly raises a frozen hand in the air>

    It was 66° yesterday and the riding was warm and fun.

    It's 32° and dropping right now and the afternoon ride will make jumping a direct to Fort Myers look positively sane.
     
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